home icon subscribe icon instagram icon youtube icon twitter / x icon

What are the available lounges in Manchester Airport?

There are several public lounges available if you are travelling through Manchester International Airport, depending on which terminal you are departing from. Terminal 1 has 2 public lounges (Aspire & Escape) plus Emirates, whilst Terminal 2 has 2 public lounges (Escape & 1903). The 1903 Lounge (Terminal 1), Aspire Lounge (Terminal 2) and Premiair (Runway Viewing Park) don't seem to have survived covid and aren't accepting bookings, although the (now renamed) Premiair does look to be preparing to reopen in the autumn as 'aether' from 4th November. There are no arrivals lounges.
Table of contents

1903 Lounge Terminal 2

The 1903 Lounge in T2, Manchester Airport
Our favourite lounge is the 1903 lounge in Manchester's T2
This is probably our favourite lounge in Manchester, but since Covid it's only been available in T2. It's usually the most expensive of the public lounges but it's spacious and quiet, with a good view and plenty of help yourselves food and drink. It can become quite busy as it's used by airlines such as Qatar and Etihad for their business class passengers.
1903 Lounge Manchester T2.

Escape Lounges (T1, T2 & T3)

Escape Lounge, owned by the airport, is available through all 3 terminals. It's usually the cheapest of the lounges on offer. In T1 the Escape Lounge is windowless, but T2 has a view of the apron. We've not experienced the Escape Lounge yet, but will do very soon.

Aspire Lounge Terminal 1

The Aspire Lounge in T1, Manchester Airport
Aspire is our go to lounge in Manchester's T1
This is our go to when departing through T1. I've seen it advertised as being available in T2, but not used nor seen it. Opposite to the Escape lounge it has a view of the apron between the Easyjet / Emirates pier and T3. It usually has a good selection of food and is used by Star Alliance (e.g. Lufthansa) for their business class travellers. It's available to anyone but it is an independently owned lounge.
Aspire Lounge Manchester.

Virgin VRoom

Adding this one for completion. This one was our first experience of a premium lounge and was only available for customer travelling with Virgin Holidays. A fantastic, quiet lounge with plenty of choices of food and drink and lots for the children, it didn't survive Covid and the lounge now overlooks the old part of T2.

Emirates Lounge Manchester Airport

Emirates Lounge in T1, Manchester Airport
The best of the best, but only if you are flying Emirates on premium tickets
I couldn't list the lounges and miss the best of them all even though it is only open to premium Emirates travellers before flying with Emirates. It's in T1 next door to the Aspire lounge and it is amazing. If you are travelling Emirates Business or First Class you'll not want to miss this one.

Premiair / aether.

After a great fan fair this 'lounge' had a very short lived life before it's covid shut down. 4 years later and it looks like it's preparing to open in the autumn. Once (if) Premiair reopens it will be on our list to try it out. We need an opening date first, confirmation of which airlines will partner it and then a destination to fly to. Their social media and website have had a revamp, and a rename ('aether'), so it looks like the reopening should be soon (stated as 4th November), although very expensive. But it might be interesting, if not 'worth', a visit to a very exclusive lounge.

Benefits of booking a Manchester Airport lounge

Space, lack of worry, peace... At a busy time in the main terminal you might be queueing for something to eat, struggling to find somewhere to sit in the concourse after you've eaten and shoulder to shoulder with everyone else. In a lounge you know there will be spaces available at a table, you walk up to the buffet and help yourself whenever you want and if your party contains fussy eaters and dietary requirements speak to the staff and they'll be catered for.

Manchester Airport Lounges FAQs

Who are airport lounges open to?

Almost anyone who is travelling out through the terminal can use the lounges there, with the exception of the Emirates lounge and some lounges do close earlier than others when there are less travellers to serve. But if you are willing to pay the entry, then you can almost certainly enter.

One exception... Groups. The 1903 Lounge in particular is aimed at families so large groups, groups travelling in matching outfits etc are banned. Even booking separately then meeting in the lounge is forbidden and if you are seen will get you removed.

What is the dress code in the lounges?

Following on from the above comment, as long as you are sensible you can wear what you are comfortable to travel in. Some lounges don't allow matching outfits (think stag and hen do) and sports wear, large logos, bare men's shoulders etc aren't OK. If you would wear it in a reasonably nice restaurant then you're probably ok.

Is food complimentary in airport lounges?

Of course - that's the whole idea and drinks are complimentary too. Have a look at your preferred menu, but they tend to serve breakfast items in the morning and then freshly prepared pasta, curries, muffins etc until close and it's help yourself. In the 1903 Lounge if you look carefully you'll even find a store of ice cream tubs.

What is included in an airport VIP lounge?

Freshly prepared food, soft and alcoholic drinks, free wifi, space and quite often newspapers. Food and soft drinks are self service, alcohol is served in the Aspire and Escaspe lounges but help yourself in the 1903 loung. Apart from the Escape Lounge in Manchester Terminal 1, all other Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 lounges (can't confirm the T3 lounges) they all have views onto the apron. All of the lounges will have flight information screens so you can see the latest status of your flight and know when your flight is ready for boarding. You can usually enter the lounge for 2 hours prior to your flight (1903) or 3 hours prior to your flight (Aspire and Escape).

Is there a business class lounge at Manchester Airport?

This depends who you are traveling with. Emirates have their own lounge whilst Lufthansa and the other Star Alliance group carriers use Aspire Lounge Terminal 1, with Qatar, Etihad and possibly others using the 1903 Lounge Terminal 2.

Can I pay for lounge access at Manchester Airport?

Currently Aspire, Escape and 1903 lounges are available for paid access regardless of what ticket class you are booked in. Advance bookings are highly recommended - I've more often than not see people turned away without bookings. Groups larger than 5 people may be refused at certain lounges, eg 1903 Lounge.

Certain credit cards and holders of the priority pass card will find that one or more of the lounge welcomes you for free, but again a priority pass booking in advance is advised if possible.

Which is the best lounge in Manchester Airport Terminal 1?

Emirates must be the best lounge, but only available to Business, First Class and frequent flyers on the next Emirates flight. That just leaves Aspire and Escape and of the two, for it's views of the runways I'd choose Aspire as the better lounge.

Which is the best lounge in Manchester Airport Terminal 2?

With the current choice of Espire and 1903 Lounges (I've never found the Aspire in T2) the more expensive 1903 Lounge takes the title by far, beating the Aspire in Terminal 1 by a nautical mile. It's spacious, has reasonable views of the apron, help yourself to champagne if you want and away from (nearly) all of the children so a lot quieter.

Which airlines have lounges at Manchester Airport?

Only Emirates has it's own dedicated lounge since the VRoom didn't reopen post covid, but the Star Alliance carriers (Lufthansa etc), Qatar and Etihad have contracts for the business class passengers.

Is the Aspire Lounge open at Manchester Airport?

Yes, in Terminal 1. I don't think it's reopened in Terminal 2.

Which lounge at Manchester Airport do TUI Premium use?

Tui fly from Terminal 2 so for premium passengers lucky enough to be offered lounge access you will be given entry to the Escape Lounge in Terminal 2.

Is the Emirates Lounge in Manchester Airport open?

Oh yes... After briefly closing for renovation later 2023 it's reopened for Business, First and frequent flyers and if you are fortunate enough to be included it's well worth a visit. Just going in is an experience, let alone the flight!

Does Lufthansa have a lounge at Manchester Airport?

Not a dedicated lounge, but they have a contract with the Terminal 1 Aspire Lounge for their Business class passengers and it is automatically added to relevant tickets and you will be reminded at checkin. Strangely, when we flew Lufthansa because the lounge is cheaper I did work out that business class was cheaper than economy at least for our flights.